Kangaroos welcome back Carey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kangaroos welcome back Carey

19/03/2005 05:46:19 AM Comments (0)

Wayne Carey has been welcomed back to the fold by the Kangaroos, just over three years after he quit the AFL club in disgrace.

Carey ended his three-year exile from the Kangaroos' public functions by making a celebrated appearance at a gala dinner staged to commemorate the club's 80 years in the VFL/AFL competition and the 30th anniversary of its first premiership win.

The club's arguably greatest player was one of 3,500 people who attended The North Story - Shinboners to Kangaroos, held at Melbourne's Exhibition Building, and most of the club's 912 players were represented among the crowd.

Carey, 33, walked out on the Kangaroos on the eve of the 2002 season - three years and five days ago - when his affair with Kelli Stevens, the wife of then-teammate and mate Anthony Stevens, went public.

Not all the wounds have eased, as Carey and his wife Sally and the Stevens were seated on different tables.

Carey's return to the fray was completed when he was officially recognised as the club's greatest player of the past 15 years.

A star forward in 244 games for the Roos and the captain of the 1996 and 1999 premiership sides, Carey was named the club's greatest player from 1991-2004, and honoured with former champions Les Foote (best player from 1925-50), Allen Aylett (1950s), Noel Teasdale (1960s), Malcolm Blight (1970s) and Wayne Schimmelbusch (1980s).

Current defender Glenn Archer, the rock of support for Stevens since the AFL's biggest scandal, was named the players' choice Shinboner, as the player who epitomised the club's renowned team spirit most of all.

Former Kangaroos coach Denis Pagan, who left the club at the end of 2002 to join Carlton, was one of six Kangaroos coaches present, along with former players Jimmy Krakouer and Keith Greig and former official Ron Joseph.

Krakouer, who recently completed a prison sentence for drug trafficking, was granted permission by the Western Australian parole board to attend.

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